If you are a JS developer you probably use NPM multiple times a day without thinking about it. It’s the default package manager which ships with node. But have you wondered what if there was another way of managing your (probably too many) packages? We will look at yarn and pnpm as worthy rivals.
Originally published by https://blog.nicco.io
You might wonder now: why? Why should I bother reading this when NPM works perfectly? Is this just another run to the latest framework? Don’t worry: there are actual reasons you might want to switch.
The biggest issue that plagues npm is speed. Unfortunately even with the latest version (6) npm is slow. If you ever had to delete the node_modules folder to do a clean install on a bigger project you will know what I mean. Fans start to spin, laptop gets warm and you can go read an article while npm chews on the dependencies.
Yarn came along in the early days and you definitely have heard about it wandering across Github. Back in the days (before npm 5 with the
package-lock.json) Yarn addressed the issues with consistency by being the first to generate a lockfile (
yarn.lock). This file could be checked in and the devs would have a consistent dependencies across multiple machines.
Yarn is often twice as fast as npm. It’s truly impressive and you need to see it for yourself to believe it. The CLI output is also way more human-friendly.
This is incredible . If you run
yarn upgrade-interactive you get an interactive CLI where you can choose what packages to upgrade and which not. It’s a simple thing, but one you cannot live without anymore if tried it once.
Similar to the previous command this is a very handy cli goodie. simply run
yarn why some-package and yarn will tell you why it was installed, from which dependency it came from, etc.
Unfortunately Yarn lacks the
npx equivalent of npm, which is the only drawback I encountered while using yarn. Other than that yarn is a very fast and a solid alternative to npm.
I truly love this project so I might be biased. They basically implemented a thought I had a while back: reuse the same packages across your computer. Confused? Let me explain:
Have you ever measured the size of the your node_modules?
du -sh node_modules # --> 816M node_modules
What?! 0.8Gb for a react-native project?!
Unfortunately that is a pretty common reality and pnpm aims to solve that.
PNPM links your packages with symlinks. This means that the same version of a package only exists once on your computer. If you ever install the same package twice, it will simply symlinked to your node_modules.
Unfortunately it’s not that easy. If you start a new project you can probably go with pnpm, but with existing projects I had some problems with building my apps. So it’s definitely experimental at best and should not be used without rigorous testing as it might break your app. pnpm also supports npx with
As you can see above there is no clear winner. NPM is the most compatible of course but really falls behind in terms of speed. Yarn in my opinion is currently your best bet and fallback to
npx your-command when npx is needed.
pnpm is an incredibly cool tool but is not ready yet for production. With react-native I can cause problems, but with the “normal” stacks it works very good. I will use pnpm for my personal projects from now on.
Thanks for reading ❤
If you liked this post, share it with all of your programming buddies!
A Guide to Hire Node.js Developers who can help you create fast and efficient web applications. Also, know how much does it cost to hire Node.js Developers.
Node.js for Beginners - Learn Node.js from Scratch (Step by Step) - Learn the basics of Node.js. This Node.js tutorial will guide you step by step so that you will learn basics and theory of every part. Learn to use Node.js like a professional. You’ll learn: Basic Of Node, Modules, NPM In Node, Event, Email, Uploading File, Advance Of Node.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to install Node.js on Windows. Installing NPM (Node Package Manager) on Windows. Running your first Hello World application in Node.js. To start building your Node.js applications, the first step is the installation of the node.js framework. The Node.js framework is available for a variety of operating systems right from Windows to Ubuntu and OS X. Once the Node.js framework is installed, you can start building your first Node.js applications.